A persona poem is written in the first person. The poem is intended to be personal and written in a biographical way. In this case, this activity challenges the writer to complete a persona poem from the Incredible Hulk’s perspective. The writer will imagine themselves in the Hulk’s shoes and tell a story to the reader. It is important to include intentional word choice and detail. The writer will use Hulk’s memories (which you can invent!) as the driving force in the poem.
The inspiration for this prompt is an excerpt from a persona poem by Greg Santos called “Hulk Smash!”
Excerpt from “Hulk Smash!”
I am the least difficult of men. All I want is boundless love.
-Frank O’Hara, “Meditations in an Emergency”
Hulk know. Hulk have a problem.
Hulk took break from Avengers after orphanage and tanker truck incident.
Hulk’s therapist said it cry for help.
Hulk said “Hulk strong! Hulk self-reliant! Ugh!”
Who Hulk kidding? Hulk not really so incredible.
Hulk look in mirror everyday and want to smash things.
Hulk never cut out to be superhero.
Hulk really just regular Joe.
Hulk got Hungry Hungry Hippos for birthday.
But no one want to play with Hulk. Everyone too busy saving world.
Hulk like watching Tennessee Titans with bowl of chips and dip.
Hulk like to go beachcombing for giant squid carcasses.
Hulk OK guy. Just misunderstood.
Step one: On a scrap piece of paper list different scenarios or “memories” you may have if you were the Hulk for a day. Review your list, choose a “memory,” and expand on it with as much details as possible.
Things to consider:
- What inner thoughts would you have as the Hulk?
- Who are the people in your “memory” and why are they important to the story?
- If you were the Hulk, what would inspire you?
- What does the Hulk want the reader to know most about this “memory”?
Step two: Review your brainstorming and piece together the ideas to create a poem. Start the opening line straight into the key point of the important “memory.” As an example, see the opening line to the “Hulk Smash!” poem by Greg Santos. Hulk is letting the reader know immediately why he is talking about the chosen memory. The body of the poem uses details to show the reader’s introspective thoughts of Hulk. To complete the poem, aim for 10 lines or more.
Step three: Review and edit the poem.
Step four: Once complete, you may use the optional worksheet for the finished product.
LAST STEP: Find a special person and share your work!